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Last updated: July 31, 2012
First published: July 31, 2012
Article researched and written by David M. White
The sign above was created using a simple sign generator found at www.says-it.com. (NOTE: the fast-foods section is disabled as of the writing of this report. The owners of the brands depicted in that section included McDonald’s, KFC, Hooters, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Arby’s and Taco Bell, and it is plausible that those brands have taken action to have their images removed given the controversy involved.)
For the benefit of non-US readers, the following is a little more detailed explanation of the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A, as well as why it is especially ridiculous that McDonald’s would attempt to weigh in on one side or the other. Chick-fil-A is a US based fast food restaurant specializing in chicken sandwiches. The company’s founder S. Truett Cathy, is a devout Baptist, and has consistently expressed that his business practices are an extension of his religious faith, including a policy that all franchised restaurant locations are closed on Sundays as well as the established Corporate Purpose of Chick-fil-A. His son, Dan Truett Cathy, is currently the President and Chief Operating Officer for the company. On June 16, the host of a syndicated radio talk show, The Ken Coleman Show, conducted an interview with Dan Cathy. The following day (June 17, 2012) being Father’s Day in the United States, the interview was specifically focused on the role of a father in the family. Near the end of the interview Cathy stated, "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about." When asked about it by another publication (The Biblical Reporter) he stated, “Guilty as charged.” While not the first time the Cathy’s or Chick-fil-A has come under fire for their conservative views, this statement re-ignited a media firestorm.
The resultant fracas has seen mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco publicly stating they would block any franchising or expansion by Chick-fil-A in their cities, some historically liberal groups citing those mayors’ actions as a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, The Jim Henson Company donating payments to their brand for toys that were distributed in Chick-fil-A children’s meals to the Gay &Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and former Arkansas governor and one-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to call for a Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.
While some businesses have discovered that taking a controversial position has not significantly impacted their revenues, the radio host who instigated this most recent iteration of the debate has appealed for tolerance from both sides.
As to McDonald’s supposed support of Chick-fil-A, given their experience with the issue one would think McDonald’s would happily sit this one out. They went through that crucible in 2010
Chick fil-A Wins Customers ... by Closing
The Ken Coleman Show
What Dan Cathy said
Students Challenge Chick-fil-A's Ties to Anti-Gay Organizations
NYU Decided To Keep “Homophobic” Chick-fil-A Long Before Petition Launched
Northeastern cancels Chick-fil-A plans after student group denounces chain
Mayor Menino on Chick-fil-A: Stuff it
Alderman to Chick-fil-A: No deal
San Francisco is the third city to tell Chick-fil-A: Keep out
Rahm Emanuel Needs to Back Off on Chick-fil-A
Legal eagles cry fowl over politicians' plans to block Chick-fil-A
Henson Co. cuts relationship with Chick-Fil-A over gay marriage comment
Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day
Chick-Fil-A Gay Flap A 'Wakeup Call' For Companies
Redefining Tolerance: The Case of Chick-fil-A
So Now McDonald’s Is Hated By Anti-Gay Conservatives And the Gay Business Community?